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Leadership Transition Made Easier

September 2020
Alexandra Lekkou
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Leadership Transition Made Easier Cover Image

Stanton Chase Athens showcases new OnBoarding Solution

The assignment of a new leader in a key role is a key moment both in their career and the organization’s trajectory. Because the risk inherent in any leader’s hiring, promotion, transfer, or secondment is significant, numerous measures are taken before placement to ensure the right candidate is chosen for the role either from an internal leadership pipeline or the market. But what about after the placement? Do we equally invest resources into ensuring each new leader lives up to the expectations? And if we don’t do this, what are the risks? For our team at Stanton Chase Athens, which excels in the executive search business, these are questions of vital interest.

A leader’s transition period ranges from three to 18 months and is often characterized by relatively low performance, poor integration, and a relatively high risk of derailment. Research demonstrates that an alarming 40% of new senior leaders fail within their first 18 months as they struggle to gain a grasp of the organization and business, fit in with organizational culture, and form alliances with their peers. This comes at a great cost for the organization on multiple levels. How can we ensure that the leadership transition takes place without a hitch?

Studies have shown that having the right support can reduce the timeframe of a leader’s transition by 50%. This provides what leaders need at that stage: direction in the critical first 90 days, constructive feedback, help with navigating internal networks, and support in gaining insight into organizational culture and team dynamics. This support can be provided through corporate onboarding programs, internal mentors, and external coaches, which can result in getting a leader up to speed in half the time.

In this context, we here at Stanton Chase Athens have designed a powerful OnBoarding Solution to help our clients achieve a higher success rate, faster integration, greater and more timely impact, a smoother fit into the culture, a steeper learning curve, less stress, and more engagement.

Our OnBoarding Solution is a nine-month intervention comprising eight sessions that incorporate coaching, facilitation, and consulting. Our program aims to serve newly appointed leaders (through internal promotion or external hiring) as a liaison between them and the organization, an adviser on successful transition, a sounding board during the crucial first few months, and a coach for fulfilling their potential.

Our focus working with each leader shifts progressively across several core topics including personal vision; a 90-day agenda; understanding strategy, operations, and culture; connecting with stakeholders and the team’ alignment on goals and expectations; agreement on ways of working with key contacts; making the most of their own leadership style; progress evaluation; and lessons to utilize going forward.

Stanton Chase Athens’ program stands out for two exceptional reasons. First, it is delivered by a pair of Senior Consultants – Coaches who combine extensive knowledge of the leader’s industry with a high level of expertise in personality and performance assessment.

This brings us to the second benefit, which is the utilization of top-notch assessment tools (personality questionnaires and 3600 feedback surveys) for gathering data and extracting insights. We explore the values, talents, and derailers of each leader, as well as his reputation and performance. These insights increase the leader’s self-awareness and guide his/her personal growth plan. In addition, we use advanced psychometric tools to investigate the dynamics in the leader’s team and create an experience for them that increases understanding of how the team works and provides input for enhancing its function and performance.

Given the impact and risk involved in a leadership transition, we always advise and support our clients in ensuring the best possible opportunity for success, whether this is through a corporate onboarding program, internal mentoring, external coaching, or a combination.

To find out more about how Stanton Chase can help you transition your leaders as seamlessly and effectively as possible, contact the Athens team.

About the Author:

Alexandra Lekkou is a Director at the Stanton Chase Athens office.

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